Roberts: 275K subscribers gone in Q3… but they're not cord cutters

If it looks like a duck, swims like a duck, and quacks like a duck, then it probably is a duck. Right? Not necessarily. At least that's the impression Comcast CEO Brian Roberts gave when talking about the 275,000 basic video subscribers who dumped Comcast in the third quarter, bring the grand total for the year to 622,000. It's not cord cutting, he said, it's the sour economy, joblessness, and the housing crunch.

Neil Smit, Comcast Cable president, told analysts in this morning's earnings call that "from an over-the-top impact, all of our exit surveys have seen almost no impact." Almost all cord cutters, er, ducks, er, subscribers who cancel Comcast go to broadcast delivery rather than OTT, he said, at least of those who don't go to a competitor like Verizon or AT&T.

Sixty percent of Comcast's cancellations were from higher tier, more valuable service packages.

Six of the eight largest cable operators in the country lost a combined total of some 711,000 subscribers last quarter, the worst decline in the industry's history. And, while Roberts said losses started to slow at the end of the quarter, it's one metric that can't be ignored.

For more:
- see this Bloomberg article

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